Ernest “Paul” Hensley, Sr. beloved father and “Paw Paw”, died peacefully on Wednesday October 6th surrounded by his family
Paul was born on August 30, 1938, to William and Sarah “Annie” Rains Hensley in Elizabethton Tennessee where he spent his childhood. He always said he had the happiest childhood anyone could have wished for as he spent his days swimming in the Watauga River, fishing, hiking and playing with his siblings. He grew up with many dogs and even a pet groundhog who lived under their home!
Paul joined the Army National Guard in 1958. That same year he married Vivian “Sue” Ivester on March 6. They had three children together, Paul “Buster” Jr, Fonda, and Tammy Renee, who sadly died at birth.
Paul spent years in the grocery industry and greeted everyone with a smile. His favorite hobby was flying and he got his solo pilot’s license in 1977. He flew for many years and enjoyed flying over the hills of Tennessee in the fall to see the beautiful autumn leaves.
He loved nature, followed the weather closely, loved a full moon and was outdoors as much as possible. He loved hiking, riding his bicycle, tinkering on lawn mowers and sitting on his back patio with his dogs, a cigar and a cold beverage, watching the deer, turkeys and other wildlife at his home.
Paul and Sue divorced, but even then he showed us love never dies. He met his wonderful life companion of over 30 years, Edna Wolf in 1990. Our blended families, including Sue & Edna and all of Edna’s family spent many holidays, birthdays, graduations and cookouts together. Dad, Edna, Sue & husband Kirk even went on vacations together!
Paul and Edna have taken care of each other for the past several years through some illnesses, and the death of Edna’s daughter, Regina, and it has been precious to watch how they have cared for each other.
Paul is survived by Edna Wolf, his children Paul “Buster” Hensley Jr. (Jannie), and Fonda Hensley Cole; previous wife, Sue Ivester Essic; grandchildren, Teryl Read (Ryan), Jillian Nyswonger Sugg (Eric) and Paul Everhart; and his great grandsons Bentley Read, Bishop Read and Barrett Sugg.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Willie and Annie Hensley; his daughter, Tammy Renee;
his sisters Melba Fleming, Helen White Cannon, and his brother Avery “Bud” Hensley.
and his beloved great grandson, Brody Read; and his treasured dog, “Rambo.”
He was the salt of the earth, and taught us that money doesn’t make you happy or successful. He was always ready to listen (but be sure he had his hearing aids in) and never judged. He taught us more about life, love and being thrifty than any book could ever teach. His infectious smile and laughter will be etched in all of our hearts forever.
We are blessed that we had the gift of having him as the patriarch of our family for 83 years.
The family will be having a private service that will be held at his home on October 13 at 1 pm.
There will be an honorary military service provided with a 21 gun salute.
Dad, you were the best dad ever and wonderful to all of your grand kids & great grand kids and you will be forever missed.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Forsyth County Humane Society.
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